Open Concept vs. Traditional Layout Homes

Lara DeHavenHomeowner Tips, Lake Conroe

Open Concept vs Traditional Layout

When designing a home, you have to decide if you like open concept floorplans or the traditional layout.  When house hunting, potential buyers also need to know which layout they prefer.  For years open concept houses have been more desirable.  Now with Coronavirus, some prefer the more traditional floorplan.  Let’s explore the pros and cons of both open concept and traditional layout floorplans.

Open Concept:

This floorplan allows for the entry, living room, dining room, and kitchen to flow from one to the other without walls or other structures.


A major advantage with this type of floorplan is the feeling of space it exudes.  Without structures to stop your eye, your home can feel more spacious than the actual square footage of the space.  Open concept homes also allow ample room for entertaining friends and family.  With most families working and going to school apart from each other for most of the day, this type of floorplan enables the family to spend more time together.  For example, mom cooks dinner while the kids are finishing their homework at the dining table and dad watches the local news in the living room.  Even though the family is not interacting, they can literally see one another.


Without many load bearing walls, you do have to install expensive beams to the framework of your home.  The lack of walls also does not provide privacy nor can you hide a messy kitchen.  Everyone and everything is on display.

Traditional Layout:

This floorplan, a.k.a. a closed floor plan, is how homes were designed in the past.  A separate room for a separate purpose.


A traditional layout enables privacy, which in the age of Coronavirus is greatly desired.  For instance, mom is on a Zoom meeting with work in the living room, the kids are remote learning in the dining room, and dad is blending smoothies in the kitchen.  It does not function well to be in one large room.  Therefore a traditional layout would work best in this case.  A person could be in a room with a closed door for privacy and noise reduction.  In fact, Kate Wagner in Death to the Open Floor Plan writes,  “The best thing about the closed floor plan? It offers what it has always offered: aural, olfactory, and spatial privacy.”  The same writer says, “Designing homes around ‘entertaining’ that happens only a handful of times a year is a wasteful yet mindbogglingly popular practice.”  You can tell that Ms. Wagner is not a fan of the open concept home and she makes good points.


Many people feel closed off, especially in the kitchen, in a traditionally laid out house.  This floorplan can also make the home feel smaller than it really is, especially if the house does not have much square feet of space.

Both open concept and traditional layouts have pros and cons.  Both kinds of floorplans can create beautiful, cozy homes.  The important thing is that you live in a house that fits your needs best.